Prosecution of Judges and public servants Under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 197)
Section 19 imposes a bar on the court to take “cognizance” of an offence till sanction is obtained from the government. The bar is against the court to take cognizance for the purposes of trial. There is no prohibition either under the PC Act or the Criminal Procedure Code. To start an investigation by lodging an FIR or through a court-initiated investigation under Section 156(3) CrPC.
The Indian EXPRESS, Article, “Permission To Prosecute”, Retrieved on 19th January, 2018, Article by Devadatt Kamat.
Prosecution of Judges and public servants (Section 197)
1. When any person who is a or was a Judge or Magistrate or a public servant, accused of any offence alleged to have committed by him while discharging his official duty. He also not removable from his office with the sanction of the Government. Court shall take cognizance of such offence with the previous sanction,
- in the case of a person employed or at the time of commission of the alleged offence employed, in connection with the affairs of the Union, of the Central Government;
- in the case of a person employed or at the lime of commission of the alleged offence employed, in connection with the affairs of a State, of the State Government:
Provided that where the alleged offence committed by a person referred to in clause (b) during the period while a Proclamation issued under clause (1) of Article 356 of the Constitution enforceable in a State. It will apply as if for the expression “State Government” occurring therein, the expression “Central Government” substituted.
2. Except with the previous sanction of the central government. No Court shall take cognizance of any offence committed by any member of the Armed Forces of the Union. While such member discharging its official duty.
3. The State Government may direct that the provisions of Sub-Section (2) shall applicable to such class or category of the members of the Forces deals with the maintenance of public order and also serving for the same. The provision of sub-section 2 will apply as if for the expression “Central Government” occurring therein, the expression “State Government” substituted.
- 3A- No Court shall take cognizance of any offence committed by any member of the Forces. Who accused with the maintenance of public order in a State. While discharging his official duty. The duties discharged during the period while a Proclamation issued under article 356 of the Constitution. Except with the previous sanction of the Central Government.
- 3B- Its declared that any sanction accorded by the State Government. Also any court take cognizance upon such sanction. Any sanction or cognizance taken during the period starting from 20th day of August, 1991 and ending on date immediately preceding the date on which the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1991, receives the assent of the President. With respect to an offence committed during the period while a Proclamation issued under article 356 of the Constitution. It shall invalidate. It shall also competent for the Central Government in such matter to accord sanction and also take cognizance.
4. The Central Government or the State Government may determine the person by whom, in which manner and also which offence. The prosecution of such Judge, Magistrate or public servant conducted, and may specify the Court before which the trial is to be held.